9am Briefing: Under-threat barracks may get reprieve

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to close Edinburgh’s Dreghorn and Redford barracks are said to be under review.

The then Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced the surprise closures in July as part of the Strategic Defence Review. He also said the headquarters site at Craigiehall would shut and a new super-barracks would be built at Kirknewton.

But now remarks by Major General David Shaw, the army’s commanding officer in Scotland, at a High Constables’ dinner in the Capital have prompted speculation that some parts of the proposals may not go ahead.

It is said there could be a reprieve for Dreghorn and Redford and the plan for Kirknewton could be scrapped.

* AN ELDERLY woman had to be led to safety after a fire started in her West Lothian home.

The woman, who lives at the Manswood Court Sheltered Housing block in Whitburn, had accidentally left one of her cooker rings on, which ignited a nearby kitchen utensil.

Lothian and Borders fire brigade got the call just after 5am today. She was taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston suffering from minor smoke inhalation.

* THE First Minister has won a second political award of the week at an energy ceremony.

Alex Salmond was named the Best Politician at The Scottish Green Energy Awards 2011 in the Capital.

Mr Salmond sent his thanks in a recorded message screened at the ceremony, and said he is determined that Scotland will be a leader in new energy.

The Scottish Green Energy Awards are in their 10th year and celebrate the contributions of individuals and organisations in the renewable energy industry in Scotland.

* THE SNP spent more than £1.1 million on its campaign for this year’s Holyrood elections - almost as much as the combined total of the three other largest parties.

The Electoral Commission said the SNP spent £1,141,662 on the election, which the Nationalists won with an unprecedented overal majority of MSPs. .

Labour spent £816,889, the Conservatives £273,462 and the Liberal Democrats £176,300 - just over £35,000 for each of its five MSPs elected.

The Scottish Green Party reported spending £132,464, returning two MSPs.

* A CHARITY set up to tackle sectarianism has called for a major programme to combat the problem at its root.

Nil By Mouth published a 13-point plan just weeks before MSPs will be asked to back controversial laws on religious-sectarian hate crime, particularly linked to football.

The plan includes a compulsory rehabilitation programme for anyone convicted of sectarian offences and calls for funds for supporters groups to develop their own pro